10 years, 3 months ago
There is enough bad news coming from Iraq, and I have done my fair share of reporting and commenting on it. But from time to time there are outstanding and remarkable stories of victory and success, and these instances are made all the more remarkable by the fact that the main stream media completely ignores them.
In Ansar al Sunna Leadership: U.S. Forces Net Big Insurgent Catch, I reported on the capture of eleven senior level leadership of terrorist group Ansar al Sunna. Specifically, among those captured were the emirs of Iraq, Ramadi, Baqubah, Tikrit, al Qa’im, Bayji and Baghdad. They also captured two terrorist facilitators, a courier, an explosives expert and a financier. The detention of these terrorists delivers a serious blow to the AAS network that is responsible for improvised explosive device attacks and suicide attacks and on Iraqi government, Coalition Forces and Iraqi civilians. The AAS network is also responsible for multiple kidnappings, small arms attacks and other crimes in the central and northern part of Iraq. AAS is considered by some to be a leading terror organization in Iraq … Although some AAS senior leadership allegedly hide in Iran, they continually plan attacks to disrupt Iraqi reconstruction efforts. This allows the AAS leadership to attempt to disrupt Iraqi reconstruction progress using their followers, while keeping the leadership out of harms way.
I went on to point out that an emir is a chieftan, or a military governor of his assigned territory. This was no small catch of trouble-makers. Ansar al-Sunna is considered by some experts to be the most important insurgent group in Iraq, and U.S. forces captured more than half a dozen high level leaders of the group.
There is a case to be made that while the killing of Zarqawi had a Hollywood aspect to it, the capture of these insurgents was more significant and will have greater ramifications than the demise of Zarqawi. Major news organizations should have been clamoring for information in order to weave a story together for the American public. Americans should have information to share with each other over nightly dinner, and this specific victory should be in the public consciousness for several weeks to come.
Writing the article was relatively easy. A few minutes worth of study of the press releases, a few more studying the relevant articles about it, and finally a few more studying the research and scholarly works on Ansar al-Sunna, and presto, there was the article. Granted, Michael Ledeen had to write me and correct (what I hope to be a somewhat inconsequential) point of history on the group, but still, the reader now knows more than s/he did prior to reading my article. Ignoring my foible on history, the main thrust of the story is encouraging, and would have taken a seasoned reporter only a few minutes to a couple of hours to construct.
But again, on what might be the most significant counterinsurgency victory in months, the main stream media is noticeably absent. I posted my article on December 2, and decided to give the main stream media Monday, the start of the normal weekly news cycle, to pick up on the story. But a quick check of the major outlets shows that there is nothing out there. Is this a symptom of their incompetence or their bias?